I've been a die-hard rock fan for most of my 52 years on this planet. I've seen multiple bands from several countries in concerts and at festivals, I have a comprehensive collection of vinyl, CD's and who knows how much in digital format. I can even do a decent vocal fry scream if the mood hits me. And yet I'm only just now discovering Japanese rock which I've found to be absolutely mind blowing.
There are two bands that I've started collecting: X Japan and Dir En Grey. I've also been obsessed with the independent work of hide, the former guitarist of X Japan who was a brilliant musician and composer.
So. Does anyone out there have some J-rock faves and recommendations?
By the way, X Japan has a compelling documentary out called "We Are X"; I think it was released in March this year. Even if you're not into their music - think 80's Hair/Punk band meets Progressive Metal - their story is very dramatic, tragic and at the same time inspiring. I can't say that I admire many bands on a personal level, too often they fall under the egomaniacal douchebags category, but the guys in X Japan are genuinely likable, talented and totally committed to their work. OK, the leader/drummer Yoshiki has quite the ego, but beyond actually having the musical chops to back it up, he's so damn charming.